Way Of The Devil Chapter 684
682 Insight 3
Lu Sheng looked carefully at the baby from up close.
The skinny infant's face was flushed from all the crying. However, when he got close, the infant quickly calmed down. His wrinkled face suddenly wore a sweet smile.
"What's his name?"
"Ziquan. Xu Ziquan. I hope that he can have a healthy, peaceful, and wholesome life," replied the beautiful woman gently.
"I'll give you this pinwheel." From the side, Little Jun had somehow produced another blue pinwheel and gave it to the little infant in the beautiful woman's arms.
The beautiful woman smiled. She received the pinwheel, and ruffled Little Jun's hair.
Lu Sheng made some preparations. Then, he painted a dot of cinnabar on the infant's let ear with a brush in all apparent seriousness.
"I wish you happiness and health," he said with a smile.
"Thank you, apothecary!" Squire Xu beamed as he placed a stack of notes on the table.
After some squandering, the Xu Family left. Lu Sheng packed his things and saw that it was getting late. After dealing with his remaining patients, he closed his clinic for the day.
When he was about to put out the lights, he saw the red pinwheel on the table.
He picked the pinwheel and blew it softly. The pinwheel turned slowly with the airflow.
After giving it some thought, Lu Sheng placed it in a corner of the herb cabinet as a decoration.
In the blink of an eye, five years passed.
Xu Zijun was now half as tall as a man. She brought in a little boy who was a head shorter than she was. They ran about the backyard of the clinic excitedly. The blue pinwheel in their hands turned in the wind.
Lu Sheng was sitting inside the clinic as he carefully measured the pulse of his patient. He had seemingly forgotten his original objectives. He was merely living his life as a simple doctor that helped the dying and healed the injured.
He did not trouble himself with Heavenly Devil Arrivals or affairs of the crown prince. Here, he was only a simple doctor.
Sounds of the children playing in his backyard occasionally reached the inside of the clinic. Lu Sheng gave the prescriptions to his patient, and he could not help but smile.
"Thank you, Apothecary Lu." The patient received the prescription while thanking Lu Sheng repeatedly. He then stood up and left.
Lu Sheng looked at the skies. He stood up and told the children it was time to go home.
"Uncle Lu, long time no see. It's been, what, a few months?"
Under the bright skies, a charming girl brought two servants and walked into the clinic under an umbrella.
Lu Sheng raised his head to take a look.
"Oh, Zijun?" His tone implied surprise.
Eight more years had passed in the blink of an eye. Throughout these eight years, Xu Zijun had grown from a little girl she'd been before to the age where she could already be married.
"Uncle, I'm afraid I won't be able to come visit you that often anymore. You must take care of yourself," said Xu Zijun with some reluctance to part.
"Is it the Zhong Family from outside the city?" Lu Sheng had heard about this as well. "I've known that boy since he was a little child. He's an honest man, you'll be happy together." He smiled as he passed his gifts to her.
"Here's something for you, to thank you for calling me your uncle all these years. Take it."
Xu Zijun received the gift. Then, her servant passed her a small box.
"This is my gift to you, uncle. All these years, thank you for looking after me" When she said this, her eyes reddened.
Lu Sheng's outer appearance was already that of a man in his forties. He was slightly old, and there were wrinkles at the edges of his eyes. He was no longer as fresh and handsome as he once had been.
"Don't worry. It's not too far from here as well. If you want to come visit me, you can bring that young man here as well," said Lu Sheng in a gentle tone.
After accepting Xu Zijun's gift box, Lu Sheng consoled her again. The two of them spoke for a while before Xu Zijun stood up reluctantly to leave. She was a woman now, and would soon be married to a man. It would not do for her to stay in another man's house for too long.
As he looked at Xu Zijun's receding back, Lu Sheng sat down again and sighed.
The child who he had seen growing up was now at the age where she was about to marry someone else.
"Clang! Clang! Clang!"
Suddenly, there was a striking of the gong and shouts on the streets.
He walked quickly out of his clinic. A crowd had already gathered on the streets to see what the ruckus was all about. There seemed to be some government official passing by.
"The master of the Xu Family is amazing! To think that a small town such as ours has produced an Economic Supervisor!"
"An Economic Supervisor is a great official that oversees the shops and businesses of three towns! The Xu Family will be enjoying meteoric successes in the future."
"You can say that again."
As Lu Sheng listened to the chatter around him, he looked at the leaving horse and its rider. He sighed and returned to his clinic.
Lu Sheng sat down again and opened the gift box.
There were two layers to the gift box. The first layer was a layer of dark red frog toad herb. He had been wanting to have this rare herb for a long time now. He did not expect Zijun to remember this.
He smiled. Then, he carefully opened the second layer.
A brand-new light red pinwheel lay quietly at the bottom of the box. The edges of the pinwheel were reinforced with little wooden sticks. The workmanship was extremely exquisite.
Lu Sheng laughed involuntarily. He blew the pinwheel and looked on as it turned swiftly. He stood up and stuck it to the corner of the herb cabinet, right beside the one he had received from her before.
A breeze blew through the clinic. The two pinwheels spun. One was slow, while the other was fast; one was old, while the other was new.
Thunder boomed and lightning flashed. A heavy downpour came upon the town.
Lu Sheng had just closed the doors to his clinic shut when there was an urgent knock on it.
"Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!"
"Who is it?" Lu Sheng was stunned. He quickly returned to the door.
"It's me, uncle! Zijun!" A familiar female voice reached him. She sounded dismal and pitiable.
Lu Sheng was slightly stunned. He thumped his slightly aching back and opened his wooden doors again.
Xu Zijun looked frail as she walked in. The moment she entered, she could not hold back her tears. She fell to the floor and started crying.
"Uncle my husband my husband, he's" Xu Zijun's face was wet, though whether with tears or rain, no one knew.
Lu Sheng quickly helped her up. The Xu Mansion's servant was still standing outside the door. He beckoned the servant to come in as well.
"Uncle my husband he he told me, that he'd leave with me he told me" Xu Zijun could barely speak through all the sobbing.
Xu Zijun's husband was a fat, honest man. He worked at the county office. While he was patrolling the area, he was jumped by a brigand, and did not survive the knife wounds inflicted upon him.
Lu Sheng had no words for this. He could only let Xu Zijun cry her heart out here to vent her emotions that had been suppressed for too long.
A few years back, the master of the Xu Family had passed away. Now, Xu Zijun's husband passed away as well. With the two mainstays of the family who worked for the county gone, the Xu Family was now in a difficult situation.
Xu Zijun left as quickly as she had come. After crying for a while, she brought her servant and quickly left the place.
She was the only person left to manage both the Xu Family and the Zhong Family. She could not let herself fall apart. Crying here was her final show of weakness she allowed herself.
Amid the heavy rain and rumbling thunder, Lu Sheng looked on as Xu Zijun's figure melted into the darkness. He sighed deeply, turned around, and closed the doors.
Time flew by. In the blink of an eye, 20 years had passed.
"Tok! Tok! Tok!"
Soft knocks were heard on the old wooden door.
Lu Sheng pulled the doors open slowly. He saw a familiar and slightly aged face.
"You're Zijun?" His eyesight had worsened, and his hair was now white. The hunch of his back was now more prominent as well. For a time, he could not recognize who this woman before himself was.
"Uncle" When Xu Zijun saw Lu Sheng's current appearance, she could not help but be hit with a slight pang of sadness. Her eyes were moist.
"Come on in, quick. It's cold outside." Lu Sheng saw that a young couple had followed Xu Zijun here. They were full of smiles. The man's face bore a semblance to Xu Zijun's silhouette.
The three of them entered the clinic together. Lu Sheng wanted to pour them all a cup of tea, but the young man quickly stood up and did it for him.
Steam wafted into the air from the teacups. Xu Zijun released the walking staff in her hand and sat down as the young lady supported her.
As she looked at the doddering and white-haired Lu Sheng, she could not help but sigh.
"Uncle, it's been many years since I left here You've remained here all this time"
"Yes I'm always here." Lu Sheng smiled. He carefully studied the young couple. "They are?"
"He's Zhong Quan, my son. He's finally grown up after all these years. He's now at the age where he should be exploring the world." A look of releasing a heavy burden appeared on Xu Zijun's face.
"I have not let the Zhong Family down. I, Xu Zijun, for all my life, have not let a single person down!" she spoke with a sense of solemnity.
Lu Sheng shook his head slightly. He looked at Xu Zijun. She had grown old as well. The sides of her hair were whitening as well. There were also wrinkles at the edges of her eyes.
"This is Little Quan's bride-to-be, who will officially be his wife tomorrow."
The young couple hastily stood up and greeted Lu Sheng.
Lu Sheng responded to their greetings. He produced two envelopes of money, and gave it to them as a meeting gift.
The two of them declined the gifts. They would not accept it.
Xu Zijun said nothing. She merely sat there with a comforted smile on her face. The smile held many meanings, but most of it was her exhaustion.
"The pinwheels You still have them." Suddenly, Xu Zijun caught a glimpse of the two pinwheels on the herb cabinet. The two red pinwheels had long lost their bright colors, but they were still in good conditions. They would still spin with the wind.
"Yes I've never moved them, and I've let them be." Since the couple refused to accept his money, Lu Sheng sat down again and spoke with a smile after he sighed.
Xu Zijun looked at the pinwheels. She stared at them for some time, and suddenly broke out in laughter.
"It's been a long time since I've made pinwheels. I'll make a new one for you soon."
"That's alright. These two are good enough." Lu Sheng waved his hand.
"I don't mind it at all. But I'm just not sure of these hands of mine can still make them" Xu Zijun was slightly filled with emotion.
"Mother, you have me," Zhong Quan spoke with a smile.
"Yes, I have the both of you." Xu Zijun smiled and nodded.
The two of them spoke casually for a long time. When the skies were getting dark, Xu Zijun boarded a palanquin with her son and daughter-in-law and left.
Lu Sheng wanted to send them all the way back, but they managed to convince him otherwise. Hence, he merely stood at the door and looked on as they left.
A few days later, the Zhong Family sent a brand-new red pinwheel over.
Although this pinwheel could spin, some of its structures were mistaken
Lu Sheng received the pinwheel and remained silent for a long time.
In the blink of an eye, another 30 years had passed.
The people of the town came and went. Old houses crumbled, and new ones were built. The shop across the street had also changed hands several times.
The clinic was progressively becoming dilapidated. Lu Sheng had hired someone to renovate it a few times, but the main structure could not be patched. Hence, he left it at that.
White hair, hunched back, a face full of wrinkles, and cloudy eyes. Lu Sheng was getting older.
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